I first went to Appleby Horse Fair at the age of 6 months apparently. I went every year thereafter for some 30 years (my grandmother was an Appleby lass).
It may be true, LTS, that you've "never known ANY people (other than upper class little white girls and their ponies) who have more respect for their horses than the Travelling people and their families.", but please believe me when I tell you that not at Appleby Fair they don't.
I've witnessed horses being kicked, punched, head-butted, whipped, beaten with sticks, run into the ground.
Indeed, the reason I no longer attend is because of the mindless cruelty inflicted on those poor beasts YEAR AFTER YEAR.
I can also tell you that you won't get many eye-witness accounts from the local residents (many of whom are my relatives) because they stay in their homes with all the windows and doors locked during the fair week.
That's the 'reality' of Appleby Horse Fair.